Downtown Orlando 7th Annual Golden Brick Awards


(Press Release)

The Downtown Orlando Partnership (DOP) will be hosting the 28th annual Golden Brick Awards luncheon on March 7th, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the historic Ballroom at Church Street. The Golden Brick Awards recognize community and development projects that have positively impacted Downtown Orlando in the previous year. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City of Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan will be in attendance to honor the 2016 Downtowner of the Year.  


More than 40 projects will be recognized at the luncheon for their contributions to Downtown and 13 Golden Bricks will be awarded. Project finalists include:


  • 12th Annual Heart & Soul
  • 250 N. Orange Ave Building Renovations
  • Aquatic Design & Engineering Office Expansion
  • Big Vision
  • Championship Weekend Block Party
  • Constitution Green Dog Run
  • Copa America Centenario
  • Cushman & Wakefield Office Renovation
  • Dean Mead Law Firm
  • Discover More in Parramore Promotional Video
  • DoveCote Brasserie
  • Fattmerchant
  • Florida Department of Health-Orange County
  • Florida Music Festival
  • Florida Theatrical Association's New Musical Discovery Series
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando
  • Frosty's Christmastime Lounge 
  • Go DTO: Downtown Orlando Commute Challenge
  • IDEAS for Us
  • Landmark Center 'Highwoodtizing'
  • Learning Central Renovation
  • Made With Envy
  • Magic FIT
  • One Orlando Centre - Central Plant Replacement/Upgrade
  • One Orlando Centre - Lobby Renovation 
  • One Orlando Centre - New Fitness Center
  • Orange County Regional History Center Denali Moose Tracks 10,000 Scoop Ice Cream Challenge
  • Orlando Magic Court Refurbishment Project
  • Orlando Magic Marketplace
  • Orlando Magic Season Launch Initiative
  • Orlando Orthopaedic Center Orthopaedic Injury Walk-in Clinic
  • Pride, Prejudice, & Protest: GLBT History of Greater Orlando Exhibition
  • PRPL Academy
  • Red Bull Wings At Work
  • Samsara
  • South Street & Co.
  • Sunshine Bank
  • The Marjorie and Leonard Williams Center for Proton Therapy at UF Health Cancer Center - Orlando Health
  • The Sevens Apartment Building
  • Tower Realty Partners Offices
  • Turner Construction Company Headquarters
  • Uproar PR
  • Web Solutions Portal 
  • Westgate Resorts Foundation Downtown Community Investment

Registration for this annual sell-out event runs through March 1st.  Tickets are $45 for DOP members and $60 for non-members. Table sponsorship for members is $500 and $600 for non-members. Visit for more information. For media wishing to cover Golden Brick Awards, press passes may be requested by e-mailing

Midtown Orlando Community Development District

On February 21st, nine years after its creation, the inactive Midtown Orlando Community Development District will be dissolved at the County Commission meeting. Its goal was to create "a timely, efficient, effective, responsive and economic way to deliver community development services to the subject land and... provide for the orderly growth of unincorporated Orange County" on a 171 acre piece of land between the Beeline and Walt Disney World.

On June 11, 2008, Buena Vista Corporation petitioned Orange County to establish the Midtown Orlando Community Development District for approximately 171.40 acres of land. See the map at the bottom of this post for the exact location.

The quasi-public district was to contain a mixed-use community including the following:
  1. 605,342 square feet of commercial retail and office space 
  2. 3,441 hotel rooms 
  3. 20,000 square feet for a laundry facility 
  4. The infrastructure necessary to support such land uses. 
During the August 19th, 2008 public hearing, the following economic impact bullet points of the district were outlined during this slideshow:
  1. 2,877 construction jobs 
  2. 1,366 permanent jobs 
  3. $35 million in on-going annual salaries 
  4. $5.8 million generated in annual property taxes 
The ordinance that created the district went into effect during that hearing. Read it here.

The district had many powers including "the power to finance, fund, plan, establish, acquire, construct, reconstruct, enlarge or extend, equip, operate, and maintain systems, facilities and basic infrastructure within, and outside of, the boundaries of the District." It's described on former Vice-Chairman Rich Bradely's bio page as "part of the legislative oversight group for the 257-acre, billion dollar upscale mixed use tourist development project near the Walt Disney World Resort."

On August 23, 2016 the Board of Supervisors of the District unanimously adopted Resolution 2016-02 declaring the District inactive. By law, the entity which created the now-inactive special district is required to dissolve it by repealing its enabling laws. The public hearing on this is February 21, 2017.

Below are renderings and slides from the original August 19, 2008 public hearing.


How Much Does a Stop Sign Cost?

Curious how much the County charges for street signage? See below. This is a screen shot of an Orange County Public Works Department "bill" from the County to Lennar Homes' Horizon West Spring Hill Storey Grove development. From this document we also learned that street signage is actually referred to collectively as "traffic control devices" and that it's the Fire Marshall who chooses where "No Parking" signs are placed.

Over a Million Dollars to "Outfit and Equip" 24 New Orange County Sheriff’s Office Employees

The Orange County Sheriff's Office says it will cost $1,238,248 to outfit and equip the 24 new positions just created for fiscal year 2017. They want an expenditure of the Law Enforcement Impact Fee funds to outfit and equip 22 new Deputy positions and 2 new Crime Scene Investigator positions. The agenda item goes before Orange County Commission February 21st. We've reached out to the County for an itemized list of expenditures the Sheriff's Office is requesting.

10 Things to Know This Week

Ten Things to Know This Week
  1. Secret Pizza Franchise Coming to Winter Park
  2. Winter Park Starbucks Location for Sale
  3. Thornton Park Penthouse Pending Sale
  4. The City Walkable - New complete Streets Guidelines for Central Florida
  5. Green Umbrella Co-Op in Winter Park Houses Displaced Artegon Artists
  6. Place the 47 Years of Orlando Neon Signs Placed Back Into the Public Eye
  7. 12 Roundabouts Coming to Central Florida in Next Five Years
  8. Sunrail Museum of Art is Coming
  9. Gaviota Restaurant Taking Over Former Open and Shut Space
  10. In Lake Nona an OPD Officer Left Rifle in Vehicle Overnight and... It Got Stolen

Mass MRKT Lakeland Food Hub and Event Space Set to Open This Spring

Mass MRKT Lakeland (Facebook) at 820 N Massachusetts Ave (MAP) will open Spring 2017. It will be a food hub and event space. This redevelopment project is made up of a collection of 1920-1950s structures. Upon opening, the project will feature the following tenants:
  1. Your Pro Kitchen – Commercial Kitchen space
  2. Haus 820 – Event venue
  3. Market Lofts – 12 market rate apartments
  4. Arti/facts Art Studio and Gallery
  5. Repurpose Art Studio
  6. Ashton Events Management Company
On April 4, 2016, the Lakeland City Council gave CRA permission to buy the 1.6 acre Salvation Army complex (830 N. Kentucky). Construction soon commenced.

In May, the project was announced as 100% occupied.

The four original buildings on the property totaled 29,092 SF:
  1. Center of Hope 10, 348 SF
  2. Halo Center 7,150 SF
  3. Apartment Building 8,544 SF with 12 two-bedroom units
  4. Office and Storage 3,050 SF

Photo Credit: Mass MRKT Lakeland Facebook page

Photo Credit: Mass MRKT Lakeland Facebook page

Mass Market | Teaser from Indie Atlantic Films on Vimeo.

Photo Credit: Mass MRKT Lakeland Facebook page

Orlando Fingerboard Maker Profiled in 12 Minute Documentary

Miniature replica skateboard maker Trent Witcher is the subject of Ryan Reese's documentary "Skateboarding to Scale: The Fine Art of Fingerboarding." After finding the fingerboard maker online, Reese spent time with the artist. He even followed him to a skateboard-build event in downtown Orlando.
  1. Written, directed, produced and edited - Ryan Reese
  2. Producer/sound - Jamie Knoepfler
  3. Director of photography/VFX - Alex Oliver

Winter Park Wine-Serving Starbucks for Sale

A Winter Park Starbucks is for sale. Well, the building and land is anyway. It contains a corporately-guaranteed lease with a tenant who has operated at the site since construction in 2014. The Starbucks term runs until 2025 and has four, five year option periods with significant rent increases throughout. Additionally, this site is one of the few locations to serve beer/wine.

The subject property is adjacent to a Publix anchored shopping center. National retailers such as Publix, Whole Foods, CVS, Wells Fargo, McDonalds and Panera bread surround the property.

The cost is $2,380,000.

Buy Your Own Cattle Ranch

A 688 acre cattle ranch with its own creek, gator lake and little house is for sale for $5 million. The property is full of wild turkeys, boar, quail and deer. The property can handle 160 head of beef cattle per year. 

The property has been in the family since the 1940's and it's main use has been cattle ranching. A portion of the property was also used for farming watermelons and other vegetable crops. 

The ranch is at 7509 Lake Buffum Rd N in Fort Meade. From Downtown Orlando , take I-4 west, exit on US-27 South, Right on ABC Road, Left on Lake Buffum East, Right on Lake Buffum North, Property will be 2.7 miles on the Right. 

The City Walkable – New complete Streets Guidelines Customized for Central Florida

The Winter Park Health Foundation engaged Smart Growth America to help the Central Florida region identify and address barriers hindering local decision-makers’ ability to build Complete Streets. Complete Streets are roadways that are safe and comfortable for all users – people walking, bicycling, and taking transit, people driving and truck drivers making deliveries. This includes impactful elements of development and transportation design:
  1. Orient buildings to the street 
  2. Reduce parking minimums 
  3. Cluster development and mix the land uses 
  4. Don’t allow traffic fears to block economic development 
  5. Design roadways to be safe for all users 

Smart Growth America spent 9 months talking with cities and orgs all over Central Florida and came up with this report.

Florida DOT is rewriting its rules and offering training to be more supportive of Complete Streets. Local advocates of Complete Streets were encouraged in the report to quickly adopt local changes based on the new FDOT stance and to get city and county employees and elected officials trained immediately.

There are 10 elements of a comprehensive Complete Streets policy:
  1. Includes a vision for how and why the community wants to complete its streets
  2. Specifies that ‘all users’ includes pedestrians, bicyclists and transit passengers of all ages and abilities, as well as trucks, buses and automobiles.
  3. Applies to both new and retrofit projects, including design, planning, maintenance, and operations, for the entire right of way.
  4. Makes any exceptions specific and sets a clear procedure that requires high-level approval of exceptions.
  5. Encourages street connectivity and aims to create a comprehensive, integrated, connected network for all modes.
  6. Is adoptable by all agencies to cover all roads.
  7. Directs the use of the latest and best design criteria and guidelines while recognizing the need for flexibility in balancing user needs.
  8. Directs that Complete Streets solutions will complement the context of the community.
  9. Establishes performance standards with measurable outcomes.
  10. Includes specific next steps for implementation of the policy 

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